Announcement of WSMC’s New PRC Contract with Global Diving & Salvage and Continued Information on WSMC Member Supplemental Resources Requirement for the WSMC Oil Spill Response Contingency Plan
Re: WSMC Member Letter dated June 18, 2013
Dear Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC) Member,
As we know you are aware, the evolving law and rule climate in Washington is changing the way WSMC will be able to do business on behalf of its members. We want to assure you that the WSMC board and staff have given these changes a great deal of thought and are facing the challenges they present with innovative and inventive approaches that best serve our members and provide full compliance in an efficient and cost effective manner. This letter will provide you with the latest information on the use of owner/operator supplemental resources as a way to meet new standards.
New oil spill contingency plan regulations that recently went into effect in Washington State require significant increases in spill response resources. To meet these new requirements and provide WSMC members full compliance with Washington’s rules in the most cost effective manner, WSMC will be implementing a new contingency plan that requires integration of a covered vessel owner/operator’s supplied supplemental resources beginning January 1, 2014.
Please see WSMC’s letter to members dated June 8, 2013, and the associated WSMC Covered Vessel Supplemental Resources Requirement Guidance. If you do not have copies of these, you may find this information on WSMC’s website at www.wsmcoop.org. Also, WSMC has added a FAQ link to its website to answer the frequently asked questions concerning this new process for WSMC’s vessel contingency plan coverage.
We are pleased to announce our new alliance with Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. as WSMC’s Primary Response Contractor. WSMC and Global signed a contract on August 8, 2013. We will begin putting newly acquired resources in place in order to support the WSMC contingency plan requirements effective January 1, 2014. Global is a locally based company that has been in business for 32 years. Global is the only full marine service contractor in Washington to provide complete in-house marine casualty response needs in addition to marine spill response services. Global has extensive marine response and environmental clean-up experience that will provide a quality asset to WSMC’s members as we move into the next phase of WSMC’s contingency plan.
Global will provide response equipment and personnel to meet the 1.5, 2, and 3 hour response planning standards as they apply in the various planning standard areas of Puget Sound and Grays Harbor. In the Puget Sound, Global will also meet recovery and storage planning standards for up to 4600 barrels worst case spill in all WSMC covered waters. In Grays Harbor, Global will meet the planning standards for worst case spill of 2300 barrels. WSMC member’s access to supplemental resources will be used to meet all additional planning standards.
If you have any questions at all concerning this change over to using the members’ access to supplemental resources in the WSMC contingency plan, the WSMC staff stands ready to help you every step of the way. WSMC continues to reach out to educate the various parts of the industry including the ship agents that assist you with your visits to Washington State.
As we have previously stated, this new owner/operator supplemental resources approval model available to umbrella plan holders will permit WSMC to provide coverage in a more economical and flexible manner by giving our members the choice of response contractors providing supplemental resources to meet the Washington State required planning standards. The supplemental resources model is a tried and true method for members to cover the planning standards in an umbrella contingency plan, as evidenced by its current, successful use by the Maritime Fire and Safety Association’s umbrella plan for the Columbia River.
We will implement the supplemental resources system on January 1, 2014. WSMC will assist members and their covered vessels with the necessary enrollment changes and paperwork to implement this system during the next five months leading up to January 1, 2014. In the meantime, WSMC’s existing Contingency Plan will continue to cover all member vessels currently allowed in Puget Sound and Grays Harbor, as it has in the past, until January 1, 2014.
In addition to the guidance previously provided, we have posted an FAQ section on the WSMC website, which addresses questions concerning the new supplemental resources plan. Accompanying this letter for your convenience is the latest listing of the WSMC FAQ. We encourage you to forward any other questions you may have using the contact link on the WSMC website or direct to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to implement the new supplemental resources requirement, all WSMC covered vessel owner/operators or authorized agents must sign a new WSMC Vessel Enrollment Agreement by January 1, 2014. The new enrollment form will be available by October and will be distributed for signatures to be effective on January 1, 2014.
As your umbrella plan holder, WSMC will continue to meet, on behalf of its members, all plan holder submission approval requirements. This includes WSMC’s in-state spill management team and the important benefit of addressing exercise and drill requirements as an umbrella organization as opposed to an individual plan holder attempting to do that in a duplicative and costly effort.
A common question we receive is what impacts these changes will have on WSMC’s fee schedule. At this time, we intend to implement this new system without any immediate changes in fees. Depending on enrollment levels and economic conditions, we believe this system has the potential to result in cost savings, which would allow WSMC to make adjustments to the fee schedule and pass the savings on to our members. From its beginning, WSMC has operated for the benefit of its members, and will continue to do so.
In closing, we thank our members for all of their support. Please be assured that just as we have done for the past 22 years, it is WSMC’s intent to continue providing contingency plan coverage for all vessels to the greatest extent possible so that vessels entering Washington waters are in compliance with Washington’s law. If you have any additional comments or questions, please feel free to contact us anytime, and we will keep you posted with new developments.
Very truly yours,
Roger D. Mowery